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CIC Archivists Group Approves Standards for an Electronic Records Policy

Submitted to the Archives & Archivists list by Patrick M. Quinn,
Northwestern University Archives, Convener of the CIC-University Archivists

CIC Archivists Group Approves Standards for an Electronic Records Policy

The CIC University Archivists Group, CIC UAG, has recently approved a
statement on Standards for an Electronic Records Policy.  The CIC, the
Committee on Institutional Cooperation, with headquarters in Champaign,
Illinois, is the academic consortium of the Big Ten universities and the
University of Chicago.  Its programs encompass nearly all aspects of
university activity.  CIC archivists and records managers have recognized
the critical importance of having electronic records addressed as an
institutional policy issue.  In developing the Standards statement, the
CIC archivists focused on identifying key components of an electronic
records policy that could then be customized to meet individual CIC
institutional settings, needs, and environments.

****Because it is written at a high level and therefore permits
customization, this Standards statement may have value for other colleges
and universities seeking to develop an electronic records policy.  CIC
Archivists Group encourages other academic institutions to review the
document and welcomes comments on it.

It is anticipated that the Standards statement will be the beginning of a
series of documents on a variety of electronic records topics that will
be developed by the CIC Archivists group.  For example, the Group looks
toward the development of a series of 'talking point' documents designed
to address a single electronic records topic and designed to be used to
initiate discussions or simply describe baseline considerations about an
issue or the implications of a particular technology application.  As an
example, an initial talking point document has been developed on web
based learning systems and records keeping issues.

The CIC UAG is developing an implementation strategy that will focus on
bringing the Standards to the attention of variety of CIC groups such as
institutional administrators, CIOs, librarians, information technology
work teams, and others.  It is particularly important that  electronic
records management policy standards become incorporated into strategic
planning processes, specification documents, and other critical areas so
that academic institutions can identify and safeguard their official
records and protect institutional liability.

The Standards statement is reprinted below, but it is also available at
the following web site;
 GOTOBUTTON BM_1_ http://www-personal.umich.edu/~deromedi/CIC/cic.htm

Standards for an Electronic Records Policy
Committee on Institutional Cooperation
University Archivists Group (UAG)

I.  Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to outline a set of institutional
requirements for the
responsible management of electronic records and information systems.

II.  Scope
This set of records policy standards applies to all electronic records
and information
systems created and managed within the twelve teaching and research
universities that
comprise the academic consortium known as the Committee on Institutional
Cooperation (CIC).

III.  Statement of Authority
The University Archives and Records Management programs within the CIC
institutions are authorized to establish and promulgate standards,
policies and
procedures for the effective management of university records within the
context of
state and federal laws.

IV.  Statement of Benefits
The implementation of sound records management practices and procedures for
electronic records results in a number of benefits:  fulfill legal
mandates, reduce costs
for the retrieval of records, identify strategies for the preservation of
records, reduce
the costs of storing obsolete records, and ensure the creation and
management of
accurate and reliable records.

V.  Statement of Responsibility
Maintaining and providing access to electronic records over time is a shared
responsibility.  Establishing and operating effective electronic
recordkeeping systems
and good business practices are best achieved through a multidisciplinary
University offices shall make effective use of the necessary range of
available throughout the university.  Effective teams would include
individuals with
expertise in archives and records management, information technology,
data and
information management, business system analysis and design, auditing, risk
management, and law.

VI.  Review Process
Departments, units, and administrative office designing or modifying
systems shall consult with the University Archives at the start of these
projects to
discuss archival and records management requirements.

VII.  Core Elements of an Electronic Records Policy

A.  Electronic records shall be created and captured for all defined
university business functions and activities.

1.  For the purposes of this policy, records shall be defined as recorded
information in any form created or received and maintained by an
organization or person in the transaction of business or the conduct of
affairs and kept as evidence of such activity.

B.  Electronic records shall be maintained in reliable recordkeeping systems.
1.abIn most cases, electronic records shall be maintained in an
electronic form, because preserving the context and structure of records
and facilitating access to them are best accomplished in the electronic

2.abRecords created and maintained within reliable electronic
recordkeeping systems shall serve, in most cases, as the official record copy.

3.abRecordkeeping systems shall meet legal and administrative
requirements, national and international standards, and best practices
for recordkeeping in an electronic environment.

4.abElectronic recordkeeping systems shall have written policies,
assigned responsibilities, and formal methodologies that fully and
accurately document the overall management of the system.

5.abElectronic recordkeeping systems shall include adequate system
controls, such as audit trails, the routine testing of system hardware
and software, and procedures for measuring the accuracy of data input and

C.  Records, including electronic records, shall be retained or disposed
of in accordance with authorized and approved records retention schedules.

1.  Electronic recordkeeping systems shall include an approved
disposition plan.

2.  In accordance with an approved retention schedule, electronic
recordkeeping systems shall be capable of deleting records.

D.  Work processes and associated business procedures and tools shall
support the creation and management of electronic records.

1.  Recordkeeping shall be built into the defined business processes and
electronic work environment thereby ensuring that records are captured,
understandable and usable for immediate and long-term use.

2.  Whenever possible, university offices and units shall create models
of business processes to determine where and when electronic records are
created and used in the course of completing business transactions.

E.  Electronic records shall be inviolate and secure.

1.  Electronic records shall be protected from accidental or intentional
alteration and from deletion while the record still has value.

2.  Only authorized personnel shall be permitted to create, capture or
purge electronic records.

F.  Electronic records shall be preserved without loss of any vital
information for as long as required by law, policy and best practice.

1.  The future usability of electronic records shall be ensured through
the development of migration or conversion strategies designed to update
hardware, software and storage media.

2.  Electronic recordkeeping systems shall manage and preserve for the
useful life of the record both the content of the record as well as the
associated metadata that define or document the record's content, context
and structure.

G.  Business conducted by electronic means shall be documented adequately
to meet recordkeeping requirements.

1.  Electronic records shall include or be linked to the essential
metadata describing content and structure of the business record and the
context of its creation.

2.  Accurate and reliable links between the electronic record and the
business transaction that created it shall be maintained.

3.  Accurate and reliable links between records of similar or like
transactions shall be maintained.

H.  Electronic records shall be accessible and retrievable in a timely
manner throughout their retention period.

1.  Recordkeeping systems shall be capable of exporting the content,
structure and context of a record in an integrated presentation and in an
accessible and useable format.

2.  Electronic records shall be easily accessible in the normal course of

3.  Electronic records shall be searchable and retrievable for reference
and secondary uses including audits, legal proceedings, and historical

4.  Training and user support programs shall be available to ensure that
users can access and retrieve electronic records.

I.  Access to electronic records shall be controlled according to
well-defined criteria.
Recordkeeping systems shall ensure that electronic records are protected
from unauthorized access.

1.  University offices shall take measures to prevent unauthorized access
to private and confidential electronic records by identifying records
that are subject to legislative, regulatory and institutional policy

     2.  University offices shall define the rules governing access to
private and         confidential records within the context of state
open records laws and federal FOIA requirements.

If you have comments or questions about the Standards statement, please
contact one of the following CIC Archivists E-records Work Group members:
Phil Bantin, Indiana University,  GOTOBUTTON BM_2_ bantin@indiana.edu;
Nancy Deromedi, University of Michigan,  GOTOBUTTON BM_3_
deromedi@umich.edu; Nancy Kunde, University of Wisconsin-Madison,

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